Saturday Studio

Launching Saturday Studio at Home - staying connected through art!


Saturday Studio at Home  - May 2020

Hello Saturday Studio families! We miss having you join us in Art Lab to create artworks and explore our exhibitions, but we will continue to connect, inspire, and create with you through Saturday Studio at Home. We have archived our weekly Saturday Studio sessions, just click on the link below and you can choose an activity that interests you. This month we have a new featured artwork from our collection to inspire our investigations and creative activities. Through emails, Art Lab, Facebook, and Instagram we can stay in touch, share ideas and artwork!


Featured Artwork for May 2020


George Littlechild, Red Man Descending, Acrylic and pastel on paper, 2007, Collection of Nanaimo Art Gallery. This artwork was chosen by Krista Belle Stewart to accompany her exhibition Truth to Materials in 2019. 

Born in Edmonton, George Littlechild is a Plains Cree artist who lives and works in the Comox Valley. He is known for his colourful and dynamic paintings that draw attention to cultural, social, and political injustices. He tells stories through his art - a conveyer of messages and has made it his job to show the pride, strength and beauty of Indigenous people and cultures, and contribute to the betterment of mankind. 

Investigate together!

Spend some time looking at George Littlechild's mixed media artwork Red Man Descending and Follow the See | Think | Wonder routine, developed by Havard Project Zero, to investigate!

What do you see? This artwork portrays two figures, an indigenous person and a white person with the cross centered high in the composition. What do you see in the gesture between them? How are they placed in relation to each other and what might that signify to the viewer? Are they happy? Sad? Contemplative? What colours and patterns do you see? Notice the many decorative details in the painting. What else do you see in this artwork?

What do you think about that? What do you think about when you look at Red Man Descending? What story do you think the artist is sharing with us? What do you think is happening between the two figures - are they friends? What feelings come up when looking at this artwork?

What does it make you wonder? What questions would you ask the artist about his work? Does this work make you wonder about our relationships to each other and how we treat one another? Do you have questions about indigenous histories in our country and what would you like to learn?




Saturday, May 23 ~ Backyard Assemblage!

There are many different shapes in George Littlechild’s painting Red Man Descending. Let’s bring flat shapes to life in this art project by creating a three dimensional assemblage out of found objects in your home or yard. This outdoor sculpture can be added to or recreated everyday by using what we can find and collect at home and can be a great family project!


1. Begin by searching and collecting found objects around the house and in your yard - pieces of wood or a branch, a piece of wire mesh, brick, string, toy, shells, glass …. Create a stockpile of objects that you can choose from!

2. Next find materials that will help with attachment such as wire, rope or string, zap straps, hammer and nails, waterproof glue, stapler etc. 

 3. Decide on where you want to build your assemblage sculpture - perhaps in your garden, on an outdoor table or a corner of the yard. Examine your collection of objects and play around with different arrangements keeping in mind that heavier items should be at the base and lighter materials as you build up and out.



4. Think about unusual and unexpected ways of putting things together, walk around the sculpture to see how it looks from different angles. It doesn’t have to resemble anything, it can be an abstract arrangement of interesting shapes and textures.


5. Remember this can be a week-long collaboration with your family changing and adding and recreating your assemblage everyday! When you think you are finished you can start again or make it more permanent and attach the parts together securely (might need some help from your parents for this part). Have fun creating your many assemblages and photo document as you go!





 Saturday, May 16 ~ Up and Down Collage

George Littlechild used both paper and photo collage in some of his work. Using different materials is a great way to highlight an area or reference an idea. Let's start with drawing lines on paper that ascend and descend and then experiment with coloured and patterned collage to complete the work.

1. Start with a large piece of paper and a big black marker. Draw thick black lines up and down the paper and as you draw, think about movement; going up and down the stairs, jumping up and down, reaching high to the sky and then touching your toes! This will help direct your line and create an interesting composition to start your artwork. 

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2. Gather coloured and patterned papers of all kinds - scrap and recycled paper, tissue paper, lined paper, construction paper, magazines - and use scissors to cut shapes and add them to the drawing. Experiment first with different arrangements and then when you're ready begin gluing your papers on to the drawing.

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3. You can use a glue stick or a brush with a pot of glue to paint the glue underneath and on top of the collage.

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4. When you have finished your collage take your big black marker (sharpie or oil pastel) and outline some shapes to highlight and create focal points in the artwork. Try this art exercise a few times, create a series of collage artworks and see how different they are from each other!

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Saturday, May 9 ~ Shape, Colour, Pattern and Outlines

George Littlechild creates colourful and bold paintings often adding patterns with pastel and collage to complete the work. Let's experiment with shape, colour and pattern to create bold abstract compositions inspired by his work.

1. Look for shapes in Red Man Descending. On a piece of paper or cardboard, draw some of the shapes you see. You can draw up to ten shapes of all kinds - squares, circles, triangles - make up your own shapes and fill the paper. Some shapes can overlap and some can be separate.


2. Using oil pastels, fill in the shapes and the space around the shapes with solid flat areas of colour. Pastels love layers! It adds texture, depth and interest to the artwork. Try colouring light pastels on top of darker colours and vice versa to blend, lighten or darken a colour.

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3. Using black or a dark oil pastel, outline some of your shapes. Use thick and thin outlines to add emphasis.


4. Choose different colours to add patterns on top of and around the coloured shapes. Look around you to get some ideas for patterns - there is pattern and repetition everywhere! The lines on a chair, the tiles in the bathroom, the pattern on the curtains in your home, the beads strung on a chandelier or necklace...

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5. Now time for "fresh eyes"! When you think you are finished, close your eyes and have someone in your family hold up your artwork twenty feet away. Keep your eyes closed and count down from ten - then open them and look at your work with fresh eyes! Do you like what you see? Do you think it needs something else? What changes might you make? Make your changes (or not)! Now you are done!

Helpful tips:

If you don't have pastels use crayons or markers - this project can work with different media.
Many discarded or recycled materials can be used as a surface to draw on. Try using cut up cereal or pizza boxes, cardboard, or sturdy scrap paper.


If you don't have art supplies or access to supplies for this project feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can arrange for an art drop off.


Share with us! Take a picture of your artwork and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tag us on social media #artlabnanaimo for a chance to be featured on our channels!
Have fun, stay connected and stay safe!



Saturday Studio at Home - April 4 – May 2, 2020


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